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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Articles tagged: Kobe Bryant

Geno Auriemma zings Kobe Bryant about being ‘uncoachable,’ not passing

Geno Auriemma smile

There were a lot of tearful moments at the memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Monday, but UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma did his best to help keep things light.

Auriemma was one of several people who spoke at the remembrance. The 11-time national champion had a close relationship with Kobe, who made a huge impact in the women’s basketball community. During his speech, Auriemma joked about how he felt bad for Gianna when Geno learned that Kobe would be coaching Gianna’s team. Auriemma said he found it ironic when “the uncoachable one” reached out to him for advice about coaching. The UConn coach then joked that he knew Gianna wasn’t listening to her father’s advice when he saw Gianna pass the ball to one of her teammates.

One of Auriemma’s former players, Diana Taurasi, also tried to keep the mood a bit lighter by taking a funny shot at LeBron James.

Bryant was certainly known more for scoring than passing, and that is something he had no problem owning. It’s also a mentality that made him one of the greatest players of all time, so poking fun at him for being a ball hog is in many ways a compliment.

Also from the Kobe and Gianna Memorial:
Michael Jordan cracks hilarious ‘Crying Jordan’ meme joke
Video: Shaq drops F-bomb on live TV during Kobe Bryant memorial
Video: Watch Vanessa Bryant’s full speech about Gianna and Kobe at memorial
Vanessa Bryant says daughter Gianna would have become best player in WNBA
Diana Taurasi takes funny shot at LeBron during Kobe Bryant memorial
Geno Auriemma zings Kobe Bryant about being ‘uncoachable,’ not passing

Diana Taurasi takes funny shot at LeBron during Kobe Bryant memorial

Diana Taurasi brought a bit of levity to the Kobe Bryant memorial in Los Angeles on Monday with a hilarious shot at LeBron James.

Taurasi, who is a 3-time WNBA champion and the league’s all-time scoring leader, was discussing the skill level of Bryant’s daughter Gigi Bryant at a young age, remarking how amazing it was that she had a turnaround fadeaway jumper at the age of 11. Then she zeroed in on LeBron with the funniest line of the day to that point, remarking that he doesn’t even have it now.

Taurasi knew Bryant well, and he was a big fan of hers, even giving her a nickname inspired by his own. Now she even gets to take a friendly shot at LeBron in his own building at Bryant’s memorial service with a very memorable line.

Also from the Kobe and Gianna Memorial:
Michael Jordan cracks hilarious ‘Crying Jordan’ meme joke
Video: Shaq drops F-bomb on live TV during Kobe Bryant memorial
Video: Watch Vanessa Bryant’s full speech about Gianna and Kobe at memorial
Vanessa Bryant says daughter Gianna would have become best player in WNBA
Diana Taurasi takes funny shot at LeBron during Kobe Bryant memorial
Geno Auriemma zings Kobe Bryant about being ‘uncoachable,’ not passing

Vanessa Bryant reportedly files wrongful death lawsuit against helicopter company

Kobe Bryant

An investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna last month is still ongoing, but Bryant’s wife Vanessa is apparently confident the tragedy could have been avoided if proper safety measures were taken.

According to a report from TMZ, Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the helicopter in which Kobe, Gianna and seven others were traveling when it crashed into the hillside in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26. The lawsuit claims that Island Express, the company that owned the chopper, was only authorized to fly under visual flight rules. The conditions the day of the fatal crash did not meet the standards of visual flight rules, meaning any pilot operating in them would be doing so under special visual flight rules, or special VFR.

The lawsuit states that the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was traveling 180 mph in foggy conditions in a steep decline at the time of the crash. The documents also note that Zobayan was disciplined in 2015 for violating the visual flight rule minimums by flying into an airspace of reduced visibility.

Vanessa Bryant is seeking punitive damages, claiming Zoboyan and Island Express were reckless. A specific dollar amount for the damages was not listed.

Kobe traveled with Zobayan frequently, and all indications are Zobayan was his most trusted pilot. Kawhi Leonard spoke highly of Zobayan after the crash and said he had flown with the pilot many times.

Preliminary findings that were released by the National Transportation Safety Board earlier this month revealed that there was no evidence of engine failure at the time of the helicopter crash. A chilling video of the helicopter minutes before the tragedy showed that it was flying in very foggy conditions, and audio that was released from before the crash also showed that conditions were not ideal.

Custom cars outside Staples Center pay tribute to Kobe, Gianna Bryant

Kobe Bryant daughter Gianna

Staples Center and the surrounding area was littered with purple and gold and tributes to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Monday. We’ve seen dozens of murals in Los Angeles since Kobe, Gianna and seven others died in a tragic helicopter crash last month, and some of those murals are even on cars.

Prior to Monday’s memorial, exotic cars featuring custom Kobe and Gianna paint jobs were spotted outside Staples Center.

Monday’s memorial service is expected to be one of the most emotional days in Staples Center history. Thousands of people applied for tickets to the event, and there was even talk of moving it to the LA Coliseum to meet the demand. However, it is only fitting that the service is being held where Kobe dominated on the court and became a global icon.

The Lakers hosted the Celtics at Staples Center on Sunday, and we saw an awesome tribute from Boston legend Bill Russell. There will be countless more during Monday’s ceremony.

Also from the Kobe and Gianna Memorial:
Michael Jordan cracks hilarious ‘Crying Jordan’ meme joke
Video: Shaq drops F-bomb on live TV during Kobe Bryant memorial
Video: Watch Vanessa Bryant’s full speech about Gianna and Kobe at memorial
Vanessa Bryant says daughter Gianna would have become best player in WNBA
Diana Taurasi takes funny shot at LeBron during Kobe Bryant memorial
Geno Auriemma zings Kobe Bryant about being ‘uncoachable,’ not passing

Bill Russell pays tribute to Kobe Bryant ahead of Lakers-Celtics game

Bill Russell played a major role in making the Celtics-Lakers rivalry one of the greatest in all of sports, but the Boston legend put that aside on Sunday to pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers hosted the Celtics on Sunday, which was the first time the two teams met since Bryant, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter and seven other people tragically died in a helicopter crash last month. Russell was in attendance for the game, and he arrived at Staples Center wearing Kobe’s No. 24 jersey.

Russell is not the first rival to put basketball aside in order to honor Bryant and his daughter Gianna, but the image of an NBA icon who won 11 championships with the Celtics wearing a Lakers jersey is quite powerful. While we expected nothing less from Russell, it was still great to see.

NBA names All-Star Game MVP trophy after Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant NBA MVP All-Star trophy

The NBA is honoring Kobe Bryant in an awesome and extremely appropriate way.

The league announced on Saturday evening that they are naming the All-Star Game MVP trophy after Kobe Bryant.

Kobe was an 18-time All-Star during his illustrious NBA career. He won a record-tying four All-Star Game MVPs (Bob Pettit also won four).

“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”

Bryant won NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2002, 2007, 2009 (co-winner with Shaquille O’Neal) and 2011. This suggestion was floated around the time of Kobe’s tragic death, and the NBA listened and acted well by making it happen. Great move by the league.

Report: Kobe Bryant memorial attracts over 90,000 ticket requests

Ticket requests for the memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant are already exceeding the Staples Center capacity.

According to Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports, more than 90,000 people applied for tickets in the first 24 hours of availability. That’s significantly more than the approximately 20,000 Staples Center can hold, especially considering many seats will be taken by family, friends, and associates of Bryant.

The opportunity to purchase tickets will be afforded at random to applicants. Fans who do not land tickets have been asked to stay home and watch the memorial service on television instead of crowding around Staples Center.

The demand is incredible, but not unexpected. TicketMaster had warned of “extremely high” demand for seats. Tickets are available in three different tiers, each one priced in a way that pays tribute to Kobe and Gianna. Some of those prices are very high, but that’s clearly not having a negative impact on interest.

Ticket prices for Kobe, Gianna Bryant memorial pay tribute to their jersey numbers

Kobe Bryant daughter Gianna

The Los Angeles Lakers are holding a memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at Staples Center later this month, and the pricing for the event represents one of what are sure to be many touching tributes.

The celebration of life will take place on Feb. 24, and the Lakers announced ticket information for the event on Friday. Fans can register in advance for the opportunity to purchase tickets, which will be sold at three different price points — $224 each, 2 for $224 and $24.02 each. All proceeds will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.

Bryant, of course, wore No. 24 during the latter half of his Hall of Famer career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Gianna wore No. 2 while playing youth basketball in the Mamba Academy and elsewhere, which is why the Lakers chose $24.02 for one category of tickets.

Kobe and Gianna were two of nine people who died in a helicopter crash last month. The memorial service is expected to bring thousands of people to Staples Center and the surrounding area, and one NBA team has already altered travel plans to allow players to attend.

Celtics pushing back team flight to allow players to attend Kobe Bryant memorial

Kobe Bryant

The Boston Celtics are showing some major respect to one of their biggest rivals of all-time.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reported on Wednesday that the Celtics, who will be in Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Feb. 23, are delaying their team flight to allow players and staff to attend the Kobe Bryant memorial the next day. The memorial will be held at 10 AM on Feb. 24 at Staples Center, where the Celtics and Lakers are scheduled to play the day before at 12:30 PM.

Playing for the rival Lakers for his entire 20-year career and facing them in two separate NBA Finals in 2008 and 2010, Bryant was very much a thorn in Boston’s side as a player. But this gesture further speaks to the unparalleled level of admiration Bryant commanded around the league and the world.

Many of the Celtics’ youngsters also idolized Bryant, and it only feels right for them to be able to attend his memorial service to pay their respects.

Warriors honor Kobe, Gianna Bryant with special T-shirts

The Golden State Warriors are paying respects to the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant on Saturday night.

The Warriors are facing the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since Kobe and Gianna died in a helicopter crash on January 26. They made T-shirts featuring the numbers 2, 8 and 24 and put them on every seat at Chase Center. Kobe wore numbers 8 and 24 wore during his Lakers career, and Gianna wore No. 2 as a player.

Here is a close-up look at one of the shirts via CBS Sports’ Colin Ward-Henninger.

That’s a nice way for the Warriors to honor Kobe and Gianna and show support even though Golden State is a Lakers rival.

There will be a memorial for Kobe and Gianna on February 24 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Friday that the wreckage from the helicopter crash did not show any outward evidence of engine failure.

More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:

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Tributes to Kobe:
Vanessa Bryant posts first Instagram message since death of Kobe, Gianna
NBA players changing jersey numbers in honor of Kobe Bryant
Clippers leave Kobe Bryant’s retired Lakers jerseys uncovered at Staples Center
Bill Belichick shares touching anecdote in tribute to Kobe Bryant
UConn honors Gianna Bryant with own jersey, spot on the bench
Jeanie Buss shares emotional tribute to Kobe, Gianna Bryant on Instagram
Kobe Bryant could have street named after him near Staples Center
Video: Shaq gets emotional talking about Kobe Bryant on TNT
Shareef O’Neal shares most important advice Kobe Bryant gave him
LeBron James had inspirational message for Lakers during meeting about Kobe
Video: See LeBron’s tribute speech to Kobe before Lakers game
Richard Sherman arrived to Super Bowl wearing Kobe Bryant shirt
Russell Wilson wears Kobe Bryant jersey during Super Bowl pregame coverage
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Gilbert Arenas vows to begin coaching career like Kobe Bryant urged him to
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Damian Lillard puts Kobe Bryant into context with great quote
Chiefs, 49ers honor Kobe Bryant by lining up at 24-yard line before Super Bowl
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Video: Kobe Bryant helicopter audio released
Investigators release chilling drone footage from Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site
Kobe Bryant helicopter showed no evidence of engine failure
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
TMZ says they had permission from Kobe’s people to report Bryant had died
NBA postpones Tuesday’s Lakers-Clippers game after Kobe Bryant’s death
Shaq says he had not spoken to Kobe Bryant in nearly four years
Kobe Bryant recently filed for ‘Mambacita’ trademark for daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
Sarah Chester, daughter Payton were also killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Ara Zobayan was the pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Don’t miss any news
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Join our Facebook group
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